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Obituaries

TOBY GUTWILIK


Toby Gutwilik edited 2With deep sadness we announce the passing of Toby Gutwilik on April 8th, 2021 at the age of 93.

She is survived by her children Jack (Shari), Hersh (Francine) and Fay-Lynn (Martin), grand-children, Micha (John), Matthew (Desiree), Cara (David), Jonathan (Rachel), Jacqui and Sabrina and great-grandchildren Malachi, Miles and Lyla.

She will also be missed by her nieces, cousins and friends. She was predeceased by her grandparents, parents and brothers who perished in the Holocaust, by her husband Mayer and by her son-in-law Phil.
Toby was born in Czechoslovakia and had a happy childhood, loving parents, two brothers and grandparents. She was separated from her family in 1944 and sent to three concentration camps, Auschwitz, then Hamburg and finally Bergen-Belsen from where she was liberated by the Swedish Red Cross at the end of the war in May, 1945. At age 18, she was the only member of her immediate family to survive the Holocaust. After the war, she was brought to Canada by her uncle who was living in Saskatchewan. There she met her husband Mayer who was also brought over to Canada after the war. They married in 1950 and started a family immediately. With baby Jack in tow, they moved to Winnipeg and had two more children, Hersh and Fay-Lynn. They made a new life in Winnipeg and made many close friends who became their family. Toby was very involved with a women’s group of Holocaust survivors.
Toby was a woman of many talents. She was a remarkable cook and baker. Cooking for Shabbat and the Jewish holidays was her pleasure and she made sure to always cook each person’s favourites. She was well known for the best gefilte fish, matzah balls, blintzes, knishes, kreplach, perogies, cabbage rolls, sweet kugel, bubka, latkes and hamantashen.
Kindness and generosity came naturally to Toby. There was always a place at her table for anyone who did not have somewhere to spend the holidays. Her home was open to all. A natural social worker, without a degree, Toby helped many people with a variety of problems ranging from loneliness, poverty or domestic violence.
Toby had a tremendous work ethic. She ran two grocery stores and then worked at the Sharon Home as a dietary aide. Her hard work was motivated by being able to provide her children with as many opportunities as possible and most of all, a Jewish education. Toby did everything with a love of her Jewish heritage. She kept a kosher home and loved hosting Shabbat and holiday dinners and continued to do so until recently.
Family was Toby’s priority. This included extended family and making her home their home. Toby was a devoted grandmother. There was nothing she would not and did not do for any of her grandchildren, including travelling to Toronto, New York or New Jersey to help with new babies, or spending several days a week helping with her triplet grandchildren. She attended all school events and concerts. Nothing gave her more happiness than her grandchildren. She was thrilled to be able to attend all bar and bat mitzvahs and thrilled to dance at each of the triplet’s weddings. She was overjoyed by the birth of each of her three great-grandchildren and thrilled to be involved in their lives in any way she could, which included cooking homemade baby food. She was excited to know a fourth great- grandchild was on the way.
Toby was devoted to her husband Mayer. When he suffered a stroke at age 80, she was determined to make sure he was well cared for in their own home. She focused all her energy on his care and, with the help of dedicated home care workers, was able to care for him at home until the last two weeks of his life. After he passed away in 2014, and her health problems began she decided to focus on her own health to ensure she lived as long as she could. Daily, she walked the track at the Rady Centre, until she was no longer able to. She was proud to manage her blood sugars, weight and cardiac stability. She was the model patient for her family doctors and many specialists she needed over the last decade.
Toby’s smile and loving, caring, nature will be forever remembered and sadly missed by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The family would like to extend their appreciation and gratitude to Toby’s family doctor, Dr. Permack, and to Toby’s team of amazing caregivers, Imelda, Irene, Fiknete, Sathy and Gisele, along with all other doctors and home care workers who have crossed paths with Toby and her husband over the last decade. All of these people greatly enhanced the quality of Toby’s life as she battled many illnesses. The family would also like to thank all extended family and friends who have supported them during this difficult time.
Graveside funeral service was officiated by Rabbi Matthew Leibl on April 11th, 2021 at the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were: grandchildren Matthew and Desiree, Cara and David, Jonathan and family friend Gary Levine. Memorial donations may be made to the Toby and Mayer Holocaust Education Fund at the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba, to the Rady Jewish Community Centre, to the Shaarey Zedek Synagogue, or to a charity of your choice.

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Obituaries

BETTY ANN SEARLE (nee PRESSMAN)

Born – April 16, 1937 Passed Away – April 14, 2024

With broken hearts, we share the news of the unexpected, but peaceful, death of our dear mother, Betty Ann Searle, on April 14, 2024, just shy of her 87th birthday.

Betty is survived by her beloved husband of over 66 years, Samuel (Sam); children Sharna, Lorne (Barbara) and Beverlee (Barry); grandchildren Evan, Aaron, Jamie and Matthew; brother-in-law Garry Shapera; sister-in-law Eve Blank. Many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends will also dearly miss her.

Betty was predeceased by her parents Jack and Sally Pressman, and her only sibling, younger sister and close confidante, Doreen Shapera, as well as by other cherished family members including her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.

Born in Brandon, Manitoba, Betty lived in small Manitoba towns, moving to Weyburn, Saskatchewan, in 1948, where her father established Pressman’s Style Shop, a boys’ and men’s clothing store. Possessing evident early charm and people skills, Betty would bring a daily hot lunch to her father and mind the store while he ate. Later, she became her high school’s first female student council president.

Betty moved to Winnipeg in 1955 and soon met Sam at the Good Earth Restaurant, a popular hangout for young Jewish adults. They married in 1957 and a few years later settled into the house designed by Sam in Winnipeg’s North End. When the kids were a little older, Betty obtained an Early Childhood Education certificate from Red River Community College, worked at Peretz and Ramah schools, and became an active community volunteer. Among several positions, she served as Winnipeg Section president of the National Council of Jewish Women of Canada and manager of Art Rental and Sales at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In later years, she remained peripherally involved with NCJWC and sat on the WAG’s advisory and foundation committees. In 1985, Betty graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in economics and art history, landing a job as an account executive immediately thereafter.

Betty transformed the beautiful house Sam designed for them into a warm and welcoming home. With impeccable taste and a flair for fashion, mom, the quintessential hostess, entertained friends and family with style and good humour year-round. Betty also loved exploring the world. Her travels with Sam, and often with the whole family, included North American camping trips and ski holidays, adventures in Europe, China, Cuba, Israel, the Caribbean and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the latter becoming “home base” for several weeks every winter for 20 years. Closer to home, mom loved residing at the family cottage in Loni Beach (Gimli), MB, for July and August each year.

Betty and Sam shared a rich, cultural life in Winnipeg. They had season tickets to “everything”: symphony, opera, chamber music, theatre, ballet, jazz. Also passionate about family, mom keenly understood the importance of staying connected and taking the time to celebrate as many simchas together as possible, crisscrossing Canada and the United States to enjoy myriad milestone occasions with extended family. The same can be said regarding Betty’s lifelong friends.

Mom’s ultimate delight was the unbridled joy she experienced being with her grandchildren. Bobbie Betty couldn’t get enough of them and spared no expense to see them as often as possible. Toronto became a regular destination and the Gimli cottage became “grandchildren central” for several weeks each summer. She was an involved, interested Bobbie, and her grandchildren loved sharing the special times in their lives with her.

Betty passed away peacefully at the Seven Oaks General Hospital. We are grateful for the kindness and dignity with which the staff treated her. A heartfelt thank you, as well, to Sam’s wonderful care team at the house – Sharon, Violeta, Naomi, Jamie, Cheryl – for providing loving support to both dad and mom.

The graveside funeral service was held on April 17, 2024, at the Rosh Pina Memorial Park, warmly officiated by Rabbi Kliel Rose. The pallbearers were grandsons Evan Searle and Matthew Pearl, son-in-law Barry Pearl, cousin Selma Gilfix, great-niece Amy Braunstein and devoted nephew David Shapera.

Donations may be made to the Jewish Foundation of Manitoba’s “Betty Ann Searle Memorial Fund” or to a charitable organization supporting Winnipeg’s arts community.

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Obituaries

NEIL CHARACH July 23, 1935 – April 30, 2024

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, zaidie, brother, family and friend.

Neil was born in Winnipeg and grew up on Scotia Street. In 1952 he began learning his trade as a photographer at Charach Studios which was opened by his late father Irvine in 1928. Neil was a meticulous perfectionist and no detail was left to chance. Being a wedding photographer of over four decades he took great pride in his work and good reputation. He was a kind and generous person with a strong will. Family and friends were important to him and he had a large group of lifelong buddies as he called them. Everyone who knew Neil enjoyed hearing his stories. As the story is told, Judy chased him until he caught her. They married in 1971 and were together for almost 53 years. They created a beautiful life together.

He was predeceased by his parents, Fanny and Irvine and sister Sheila. He will be deeply missed by his wife Judy, children, Marla (Mark), Ian (Sherry), Dana (Hart), and grandchildren, Courtney, Hailey, Max, Farrah, Nathan and Lilah, brother Harold, sister Elaine, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A special thank you to his home care workers, especially Manuel and Abdul.

Funeral services were held at Chesed Shel Emes on Friday, May 3, followed by burial at Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. Pallbearers were Daniel Bell, Max Binder, Marc, Riley, Jesse and Seth Streifler.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing to make a donation in Neil’s memory can do so to the Neil Charach Memorial fund c/o The Jewish Foundation of Manitoba (204-477-7520) or the charity of your choice.

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Obituaries

VAL CORRIN June 7, 1935 – May 11, 2024

With profound sadness, the family of Val Corrin announces her passing on May 11, 2024, at the age of 88.

A graveside service was held on May 14, 2024 at Rosh Pina Cemetery, with Rabbi Kliel Rose officiating. Pallbearers included her sons Blair and Bradley, nephews Philip Corrin, Benji Sepke, Jonah Sepke, and Simon Sepke.

Val was born in Winnipeg to Alda and William Cook. She married the love of her life, Mort Corrin, in 1957 and they lived briefly in Denver, Colorado before returning to Winnipeg where together they began raising three children – daughter Debbie and sons Blair and Bradley. Val converted to Judaism in 1961 and became active in Hadassah and ORT. In the mid-1970s, the family moved to Toronto where Mort had a successful career as a Regional Manager for London Life. Following Mort’s retirement in 1992, he and Val made their summer home in Winnipeg, while enjoying winters in sunny Florida where Val enjoyed playing mahjong and golf, and watching her favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays.

Val was predeceased by her daughter Debbie, husband Mort, and sister Elaine. Left to cherish her memory are her children Blair and Bradley, son-in-law Steve Douglas, and many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Thank you to the staff at Luther Home for their comfort and care. May her memory be a blessing.

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